Thursday, December 16, 2010

it's winter inside, too...


School is cold.

Outside is cold.

My apartment is cold.

The movie theater was cold.

The bus is cold.


No one in this country seems to think hypothermia is a BAD idea!  Okay, admittedly, the weather has not been as horrible as it is back home, it's only -5 (Celsius) here, with the wind chill.  The wind here is particularly biting, though!  AND no one seems to think heating places is a priority.  It's like Koreans ENJOY being cold!  WHY?!

Everyone wears their winter jackets INSIDE.  Instead of heating a place, they just wear their winter jackets.  I think this is crazy.  I really do.  By the end of the work day, my feet are frozen solid from constant contact with frozen linoleum though my shoes.

My school is laid out in an interesting way... a way that allows for it to actually be winter inside of the school when it is winter outside.  We have walls, yes... but the school is what I have taken to calling an "open" concept school, in that, there are no real traditional doors, just these glass doors that swing both ways, that are light enough for a slight breeze to blow open, and, which also are usually kept open anyways.  Also, we have these sliding barn door type of doors that remain constantly open.  So, it's basically outside INSIDE my school.

Now, imagine how cold the toilet seats are!  It ALMOST makes me want to use a squatter.  ALMOST...

Anyways, the classrooms have traditional doors, and have central heating... which is great, when my co-teachers aren't turning it off on me and opening the windows.  SERIOUSLY, my one co-teacher is STILL opening windows.  We had an incident with a wasp infestation in the main English classroom AND our office a few weeks ago, because she kept opening the damn windows, and the wasps were searching for warmth.  They weren't going to find any warmth in the classroom or the office, that's for sure.  Anyways, I don't think me having the heater set to 16.5 degrees is really all the unreasonable... I like to be at least slightly warm.

The office is another matter.  We don't have central heating, we have a propane heater.  It has three burners.  the weather lately has been at least two burner weather, if not all three... but, no, it CONSTANTLY remains at one burner, or off.  It's so cold!  Wearing my winter jacket while I work is not comfortable, I have no range of motion with my arms!

My house has floor heating.  It sounds like a really great concept, and, it is... if you like sitting or sleeping on the floor.  It doesn't heat the air!  It is the one complaint I have about my apartment... it's always so cold in there.

It was opening night for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part One in Yeosu, last night... a whole month after everywhere else in the world (GAH!!!!).  We went to the theater, all excited for the show at 7:30.  Everyone knows what opening night for Harry Potter is like in the US or Canada... or basically any English speaking country, and, BOY, WAS IT CRAZY HERE!  There was at least fifteen to twenty people in the theater!  Seriously, there was like fifteen people in the theater.  It was pretty damn lackluster.  In all fairness, though, kids here are in their academy schools until all hours of the night, so, MAYBE there will be a crowd on the weekend.

I continued my picture taking efforts in class yesterday.  I had one sixth grade class and three fourth grade classes.  The students have begun bribing me to stay, and telling me that my leaving is a bad idea.  Seriously, one of my super smartie sixth grade boys said to me "I disagree with your decision to return to Mexico."  I was all "Whaaat?!  I'm going home to Canada, buddy!" to which he replied "Canada, Mexico, I still disagree with your decisions."  It was pretty adorable.  My sixth grade girls started offering me up the boys in class that they thought were the most attractive for me to marry so that I would stay, but I assured them that their classmates were much too young for me... and one of my fourth grade girls offered me her university age brother if I stay.  And they all keep telling me to please never forget them... which, let's be honest, I never will.  these kids have shaped my life in a way I never thought possible.

I made a chocolate Christmas tree for the teachers in my office.  As in, I cut a file folder into a half circle, folded it into a cone shape, stuffed it full of aluminum foil, taped green origami paper to the outside of the cone, and then taped Hershey's Kisses all up it.  It looked pretty awesome.  All of the teachers in the office were telling me how pretty it was, I thanked them and told them to enjoy the chocolate... THEY'RE ALL AFRAID TO TOUCH IT!  They moved it to the empty teacher's desk in the office, and there it sits, untouched.  These are the people that I have witnessed devour entire cakes in the matter of ten minutes, and they're all afraid to eat the chocolate, because they think it's too pretty!  Next time I do something like that, I'm making it look like a three year old made it, so no one is afraid to eat it.  Sheesh.

Oh, p.s. I bought $20 worth of chocolate to make that tree...

Speaking of buying chocolate!  I finally got all of my Korea Christmas shopping done--more presents will have to be bought for family before I return to Canada.  Everything I needed to buy here has been bought, though!  Christmas in Korea is a lot different.  It's more of an even for friends to spend time together, instead of family.  For Christmas this year, I'm heading up to Muju ski resort with about eight or nine other people, and we're renting a cabin and having a huge Christmas dealy up there.  I will not be skiing, because I will die if I try.  Anyways, because Christmas is not a huge deal in Korea, stores look nothing like they do in Canada.  No piles and piles and piles of decorations and Christmas music blaring... though, E-Mart does have an aisle dedicated to Christmas, and I heard a few Christmas songs while I was there.  Anyways, needless to say, Christmas = chocolate... but because it's not huge in Korea, when I walked up to the tills with $60 worth of chocolate to distribute amongst my co-workers, the cashier's eyes got all huge and she exclaimed "OH MY GOD, CHOCO!" to which I felt the need to explain that it was for Christmas.  That doesn't happen in Canada!  When you go up to the till with $60 worth of chocolate in Canada, the cashier laughs and says "ahahaha, ohhhhh Christmas..."  I miss that...

Lastly, a cutie little story from my grade four class one yesterday.  My co-t was rearranging where all the little kiddies were sitting, so he got them to stand at the back of class, and told them, in groups of four, to figure out where they wanted to sit.  Some students didn't really care, but I could see some groups of kids forming groups and pointing at me and pointing at the table that my chair is next to.  Upon telling each group of kids to go pick their seats, students started flocking towards this table, and I could see kids in the back getting more and more anxious... I predicted a fight.  I was right.  When half of the kids had chosen, he told the other half of the class to go to the seats they wanted, and there was a stampede of students for the table by me.  Eight of them tried to pile around the table, and they were pushing and fighting and yelling TARA TEACHER, NOOOOO... apparently the table by my chair is a sought after spot.

Fun times!


  1. Oh I"m sorry- I hate hate hate being cold, my office is pretty cold but not quite "winter jacket" cold!

    I'm laughing at the chocolate christmas tree story... maybe you need to take the first piece off to "taint" it a bit?

  2. I'm contemplating busting it up like a pinata in front of all of them or something... it's been two day now, and NO ONE has touched it!

    I would like to note that the heater has been upgraded to two burners, so it's only sweater weather now in here!

  3. Ack, just reading this I was cold for you! But that chocolate sounds de-lish!

  4. I would totally eat the Christmas tree! But all the cold sounds like torture. I have some serious issues with being cold, so I probably couldn't handle that. lol.

  5. Your students are so cute. I love them and their straight up adorableness.

  6. Enjoyed reading your post! I am reminded that the "cold" we think we are experiencing here is not cold at all. Thanks for the reality and gratitude check. Stay warm :) -Ava

  7. loved this post :) i hate being cold! i don't know anyone that loves being cold!

  8. I normally don't have a huge issue with the cold, I mean, I come from Alberta, and this is nothing like the cold we have there. We don't even have snow here... but, the cold in Alberta is made bearable by the fact that the buildings are kept warm, here, I feel like I have no escape from the cold. It's unpleasant, to say the least.

    Yeah, there really is no end to how adorable my kids are, even my sixth graders, who are supposedly the most serious of the bunch, do really cute things. It makes every day an adventure really, you never know what they're going to do next.

    I would like to return to Korea after I finish my Education degree, but it's a matter of seeing where I am in life at that time, I suppose. I fint it rather futile to make plans like that so far ahead, because you really never know.

    The whole office smells like chocolate, thanks to that tree... I don't know how anyone is resisting it. Food and treats usually don't last an hour around them! I tried to get them to eat it by offering the kids that clean my office some of the chocolate off of it, but the teachers in the office told them not to touch it. Maybe they're saving it for after Christmas? I have no clue.

  9. oh man... i can't deal with being cold. i mean, we keep our heat low for energy conservation reasons but, you know, warm enough. if i had to have my coat on 24/7 i would be S U C H a crab apple.

  10. I must say though, love, that movie theaters are always ridiculously cold. Always. I have grown to prepare myself with layers before I go to see a movie.

  11. Yeah, it's unpleasant. I hate wearing a winter coat in the first place. Sometimes I just feel like yelling out "SERIOUSLY??? SERIOUSLY?!?! Why must you keep it this cold in here??!!" But, I don't think they would react well to that, haha.

    I've never found movie theaters to be particularly cold, except for one time that I can think of. It was just really cold in the theater on Thursday.


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